Monthly Archives: April 2013

On my way from worry to happy

(Personal discoveries at and after Creativity and Intuition workshop with Ariel and Shya Kane in Hamburg, April 5-7, 2013)

A bit more than a week ago, I have participated at the Creativity and Intuition workshop with Ariel and Shya Kane. Meeting them as well as all of the 104 participants was a real treat. If someone would have told me that I could get a feeling of familiarity with more than hundred individuals within a bit more than two days, I would have never believed them. But it did happen. And more so, I discovered that there are so many wonderful people to discover and communicate with every day, for however short we can meet them. They enrich and make our days, why not giving them a gift of smile in return?

I will never forget a day several years ago in Copenhagen airport, how an open, friendly smile from a beautiful woman in a sari, who looked straight into my eyes, has awaken me from my worried state of being and made me smile. At the first moment, I didn’t know what to do with this feeling, but in spite of myself, this wonderful warmth and state of being seen lingered for quite a long part of that day and I still get a wonderful cozy feeling inside and pleasant goose bumps on my skin when I think of this wonderful stranger-friend.

Such happenings as above were sporadic earlier, but since I practice and apply instantaneous transformational approach developed by Shya and Ariel Kane, these happen more often. And what is especially amazing is that it happens more and more often that I am that person giving a gift of warm smile to seemingly total strangers and it is wonderful to see how the frozen concern on their faces melt as they smile at me. It is always such a treat.

I would like to share five of hundreds and hundreds of discoveries I made during the workshop in Hamburg and in the days after, and still making. These five and especially the first two help me to come out of upset, because they serve me as signals that I am stuck and seemingly not able to get out.

And before I shoot the five “bullets” let me shoot the most important skyrocket that, as soon as I realize it again and again, is an amazing miracle for me: Whatever feeling I have, however hard and bothering it might seem, I don’t need to look for its reasons. The only two things “to do” here are to be honest and to be aware of it and just say the words in my mind: “I feel … (fill in the blanks)” and the best to precede them with an “Aha” and/or “Wow!”. And then I immediately feel better and actually I am out of the trap and see which way to go next.

So, here are the five discoveries I mentioned above.

1. Blame. When I blame or disagree, whether in my thoughts or out loud, with a person or an activity I am in the middle of having, then I am either feeling unwell, I am tired or simply displeased and not enjoying myself. There are two interesting things about this. First of all, I usually blame people I highly respect and want to learn from, be it members of my family or my favorite teachers, role models, good friends, or be it things I really adore to do, like reading, writing, having a cozy time with a cup of espresso etc. etc. The phrases like the following come then to my mind: “I shouldn’t have done this! That is why I feel like that. I should break any contact with that person, because talking to her/him is always upsetting!” etc. etc. And here comes the truth: the word “always” is NEVER true! It is never always (!) upsetting. On the contrary, there are more pleasing moments than seemingly hateful moments with any person I know.

And the second funny thing was mentioned during the “skyrocket” description above: I don’t have to look for a reason why I feel bad and blame someone or something. Actually, if I start looking for a reason, I will start blaming again, the same or other people or even things or events, but still blaming. But if I rather just notice that I am unwell or tired or upset then I immediately have an idea what can help me: stretch, have a nap, make a little dance (Ariel and Shya, if you ever read this, thanks for the great idea to have a dance after lunch!), have a cup of espresso – with or without chocolate, write and cheer a friend etc. etc. or simply go back to whatever I was doing, but with a smile since up till then my upset or unhappiness is gone. And the mere appearance of this idea or ideas gives me a boost of positive energy and makes me smile. And when I do what this idea suggests and enjoy the process, then I just feel happy. And this whole cycle has happened already dozens of times during the days after the workshop and the blaming phases get shorter and shorter. Amazing! As a consequence of all of this, I feel the ease of being compassionate with other people, since the above is nothing else than being compassionate with myself.

2. Fear and over-planning. If I have an idea that what I am about to do or to go to is not my wish or idea, then I am usually afraid to start this activity or go to an appointment. And the fear is mainly that with that activity, which can be as simple as taking a shower, or on the other “end” going to an appointment, which I might as well have initiated, will not make me feel happy. And in order to still this fear, I plan a lot of different things in my thoughts (and sometimes do them), or just daydream of the past or future or 100% hypothetical events. This happened quite often in my life. Even if I managed to be on time to an appointment, then I was usually in a big hurry before the event, because I left so little time for me to get ready for it. In the last several days the following helped me to come back to the current moment and consequently be in a good time and great mood when an event or appointment starts:

a) Realize that I don’t want to do what I am told to, in most cases by myself, and that I steal time from myself and produce thoughts in order to slow me down or even to sabotage of what I was about to do. These can be different thoughts. But usually they go like this: “I have to do this otherwise that will happen”. And such thoughts come in multiple numbers, often with no connection to each other nor to the activity, event or an appointment I have to and originally wanted to get to.

b) Remind myself of the promise I gave to myself and/or the others connected to the given activity, event or appointment.

c) Remind myself that this activity, event or appointment was and is my own idea.

Consequence of this little exercise, of which quite often no one apart from me is aware, is a big smile on my face and happy going/getting ready to event/appointment/activity.

3. Joy of listening. What a joy it is to listen, observe and be quiet! In the morning of the first full day of the workshop, I pushed myself to go on stage when someone was standing there and I tried to contribute. Although I didn’t agree with Shya then (see bullet 1 above 🙂 ), I confess that I was trying to defend the person standing there without really being able to contribute constructively and without actual need for them to be defended since Ariel and Shya were skillfully bringing them into the current moment. After lunch on that day and without thinking much about where to sit, I chose a seat in the last row, although there were still a lot of empty seats to choose from. My intuition seemed to tell me: “Just listen!” And this is what I did. It was an amazing experience! Doing this, that is just listening and paying attention to what was happening on stage I made more discoveries about myself. First of all, I wanted to go alone to the stage and talk on what touched me but I was afraid to do it on my own. Instead I went when someone of my fellow participants was already there on stage. And secondly, I discovered that many of my questions were asked and answered without me putting them and even before a question was formed in my head. I did go to the stage one more time during the workshop and this was on the last day of the seminar to report of the bumpy adventure in my thoughts during that weekend, and how the transformation or rather transformational lifestyle left and come, left and come, left and come, how I discovered that there is always space for it to come back if I just let it, and how grateful I was to Shya, Ariel and all the participants for the great experiences I had a chance to gain. So, I discovered that listening and observing is a great tool to find out a way, when I feel lost.

4. Saying yes to a No. I realized or rather experienced that a No to me must not be personal and must not necessarily feel personal. I discovered that a No is not negative, that it is just a change of direction. And there are so many directions to choose from. I discovered that it is ok to say no, if I really feel like it. If I choose to say No, then I just change direction, notice this and move in this new direction. But if I am constantly saying No, then I am turning and turning around my own axis without moving any further. And this constant turning: “No, I don’t like that, better this! Oh no, not this, that! Oh, no, no, no, better this!…”, makes me feel as dizzy and unsure as I would be literally turning around myself all the time. So, I realized that a No can be really healthy, and just what I need, as long as I notice it and say again Yes to my life.

5. Strangers are not really strangers. Before the seminar, I didn’t often look into the eyes of complete strangers. I was afraid to intrude into forbidden territory and of what I might find there. During the workshop, we were first encouraged to look into each other’s eyes, as for example during dancing, and later it came naturally. And the greatest discovery came on the last day of the workshop during exercises and also when I was staying on stage and talking to Shya and Ariel. It is very comforting and reassuring to look into the other person’s eyes, even if a conversion taking place is serious. The compassion from the person you talk to is revealed through her/his eyes. And after the seminar, I noticed that people, whether I know them or not, welcome open straight looks into their eyes.

Eye contact, smile and listening can do real magic and turn a total stranger into a really good friend.

And as a finish to this small report, I would like to share a beautiful Irish expression that one of my Facebook and transformation friends, Valerie Paik, has shared with me: “Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet”.

I wish everyone many wonderful discoveries and new friends every day!

You will be the next

A fictional self-portrait given by a person living
on the verge of the Stone and Bronze Age

They call me Nia, as I told you when I woke you up this morning. I am also called “Mother” by our fok because my man was the head of our people. He died when saving the other men from the falling mammoth that they have defeated together.

My man was bringing me green stones because of my green eyes. Until the day before today, my son was bringing me green stones from where he was hunting with others. But now he will be bringing blue stones for you, because of your blue eyes.

He stole you from another folk, just like his father stole me from mine. So, don’t be afraid of me. I know that you are afraid. I was scared too, after I was brought to this folk. They are so different with their small brown eyes and dark skin, but they are good.

Other women here are allowed to have other men when their husbands die, but not me and not you. Our men are the selected ones, because they are of the ruler’s line and the only ones of the young folk who are allowed to come together with the circle of wise men.

I have one son, but all people of our folk are my children. I must take care of them. I wake them up in the morning and go after them to sleep. Many young children come to me when they cry before they go to their own mothers.

My time to go over the river will come soon and you will be the next after me. So, you have to learn how to make the glittering brown arrowheads, before I go. Only I know the right ingredients and my son and the men in his line are the only ones, who are allowed to use them.

And have many kids from your man. After he dies, you will not have any more. I have only one.

We talked enough. Now, come with me. I will show you our cave, which will be your home now. You have to prepare your sleeping place before it gets dark.

Desperate to be seen

It is always hard to admit a strong desire to be the center of attention. Here it comes: I do have this desire but it is mixed with total dread to screw things up just before this attention is granted to me. If I am in the middle of somebody’s attention, then everything is perfect, at least from my point of view, and falls into place. I seem to feel what people need, again from my point of view, in that moment and I start to bloom. It seems that when I have attention of others, I start paying attention to my well-being as well. Outside of this in-center-state I feel lost.

Recently, a very strange thing happened that made it impossible for me not to screw things up. I became invisible.

“Wait a minute!” I hear you say, “How can you screw things up when you are invisible? You just do whatever you want, dress or undress as you like and nobody sees you!”

Well, my answer to you is: you don’t know what you are talking about! You can’t do anything you want, at least with some types of invisibility, you can’t. I suppose there are many kinds of invisibility. In my case, I was not seen, but people still could hear me.

And my troubles had their origin in the fact that I didn’t know that I was suddenly invisible.

I was on a business travel to an international meeting in Paris of a working group I am member of. On that day, despite my usual habits, I didn’t go for breakfast. Somehow I wasn’t hungry. Instead I had a cookie in my room, brushed my teeth, made myself pretty, as my son says when I’m putting my make up on, collected my laptop bag and purse and headed to the meeting room. There were several people in the room when I entered.

“Good morning!” I greeted cheerfully. Peter, Paolo and Ian looked towards my direction, then to the seat at the other end of the room, where Katherine was sitting deeply immerged into her laptop.

“Why? Hello again, Catarina! I will never grow tired to greet a bootiful woman!” exclaimed our constantly joking Paolo with his wonderfully rolling “r” and exaggerated emphasis of the vowels, so typical to small quirky Italian men, especially when they pronounce colorful compliments.

Katherine looked up from her computer, threw back massive waves of her dark brown hair, elevated her sparkling lids covered with silvery eye-shadows, which ended with long, thick lashes revealing her light blue, almost crystal eyes, and said to no one in particular: “I didn’t say anything”, and turned back to whatever she was doing.

The three men looked at each other quizzically, shrugged almost simultaneously and turned to their screens. They didn’t seem to worry until I have let my laptop bag fall. They jumped in their chairs, looked at the bright purple trolley with such a strange expression on their faces, which made my stomach tighten. My body seemed to start to realize before my brain that something was askew.

I grabbed my bag and something changed in their faces again.

“Wasn’t that Victoria’s bag?” asked Peter, “Where did it go?”

“I also thought, I saw it”, said Ian incredulously.

“And what was that bang sound?” asked Paolo pronouncing this as “bung zaaoonde”.

I tried to go as quietly as possible to a chair at the wall behind me and sat there down to take a deep breath and watch what happens next. I realized that they couldn’t see me. This was confirmed when the others from our group started filling the room. One trolley rolled through my feet before I could pull them aside. Similar thing happened with feet, hands and legs of the others. I didn’t seem to be any kind of barrier to the others. I was horrified: “I am not only invisible, but I am also like air for the others.” How could that be? I was frantically thinking trying to analyze and grasp what was happening. Then half consciously, I pulled my hand off the trolley.

Always alert Paolo exclaimed: “There it is again! The trolley!” Peter and Ian looked up and even Katherine, who was always immersed into her laptop, smart phone or tablet, unless she was presenting something, has shown some interest by revealing her sparkling eyes. I always envied her for these sparkles and was glad that she was hiding them most of the time.

Drawing my own thoughts to my current physical situation and away from my emotions with all my might, I started analyzing the whole thing step-by-step. So, because of some unknown to me reason I was invisible or rather transparent or just air and everything I touched became transparent as well. But this effect was only to the others. I could see everything well.

But these observations didn’t help me to calm down. On the contrary, may panic was rising. I was supposed to give a presentation right after the coffee break. “What shall I do? What can I do? How am I going to become visible to the people around me?” These questions were whirling in my mind like a hamster running in its wheel.

Voices around me, which were trying to find explanation why my bag was there standing at the wall without me being there in the room and without anyone having seen me leaving it there, did not help to distract my attention from the hamster in my head. They only made it run faster.

I decided to go to my hotel room. As I opened the door and walked through the small hallway, something drew my attention. I went back to face the man-tall mirror. There was I in the mirror; I could see myself just fine. But when I was moving away from the mirror and further into the room, my reflection didn’t become partial, as it usually would, but remained standing in its complete shape at the left rim of the mirror. My reflection was trapped. I tried walking there and back in the hallway and saw again and again my reflection walking with me and then stopping at the rim of the mirror which I was passing by.

Overwhelmed by what I just discovered, I set on the floor in from of the mirror, pressed my elbows on my legs and put my chin into my palms. I looked at me in the mirror hoping to find an answer in the eyes of the person sitting and facing me from the other side of the glass covered with silver foil at its back.

My reflection didn’t talk to me, only moving its lips when I talked. It was just behaving as any other reflection would do. But then something else struck me. The sunlight flooding through the large window in my room didn’t reveal any shadow on the floor beside me that I should have been throwing. Everything else in the room did, but I didn’t throw a shadow at the floor and walls around me. As soon as I touched something, its shadow disappeared as well. The engineer in me thought: “That makes sense, since I am air, and everything I touch is air, then there cannot be any shadow from me or from the things I touch. Air does not throw shadows.” And then at the next moment it occurred to me that the whole thing happening was absolutely irrational, awful, wholly incredible, unthinkable and any attempt to find some logic in it seemed to be a totally crazy undertaking.

But something was forming thoughts of action in my head. There were clear instructions coming from my inner survival machine. I tried to resist it and pull myself down into a depression thinking that there is no way out of this, but then I had to laugh out loud realizing that air cannot be depressed and can get almost anywhere.

This is what I did in a very confident manner, which surprised me. I took the mirror out of its holding. It proved to be not as heavy as I feared. On my watch I saw that the coffee-break had just started. I carried the mirror carefully and slowly out of my room, to and with elevator down to the second floor where the meeting was taking place and further to the meeting room.

Although knowing that I was air in its direct sense to my colleagues, I moved carefully with my load between the group members scattered in the large hallway as a bunch of grapes torn and scattered in pieces on a large platter. I didn’t want to take chances this to fail. I had to and I wanted to make my presentation.

After entering the room, I saw that our chairman, Pierre, was at his laptop. He was alone in the meeting room. I approached him carrying the mirror and started talking to him fast: “Pierre, it’s me, Victoria. You don’t see me because I became invisible this morning. I don’t know how this happened, but it did”.

Pierre, being of my age and having curly brown hair that made him look much younger, looked curiously around him: “Victoria. Is it you really? We were trying to find you but had no luck.”

“Yes, and I hope that there is a possibility to make me at least partially visible.” At this, I’ve put the mirror to stand at the wall behind Pierre and stepped aside. I could see myself and I hoped…

“There you are!” exclaimed Pierre pointing at the mirror with his index finger as a little child.

“So, you can see me?”

“Yes, I do! Wow, what kind of trick is that?”

“Pierre, are you talking to yourself?” asked Paolo entering the room. “Was the discussion this morning so heavy that you gone bananas?” Paolo was laughing at his own joke until he saw my reflection. “Wouw, what is that?”

“Paolo, please call all to come back into the room. It’s time to start and I will explain the situation to all at once.” As Paolo left the room, Pierre turned to my reflection and said: “Victoria, let’s go to the front of the room. I will carry the mirror for you.”

“No, stop!” I was starting to panic again. “I don’t want the mirror to break and since it becomes invisible or rather like air as me when I touch it, then it is safer when I carry it myself”.

I carried the mirror to the front of the meeting room. As my working group colleagues were filling in I waited with making myself visible until all were settled and Pierre explained my situation as much as he could. As soon as he finished, I’ve lent the mirror against the front wall at an angle that made it face both me and the room and stepped aside.

“Wow! Oh my God! What the f…! Mierda! Mon dieu! Wahnsinn!” and many other exclamations followed.

“I probably should make my presentation like this”, I mumbled.

“Or maybe not”, a thought shoot in my head. “Go!” shouted a voice within me. I started to move away from the mirror, but it stopped me: “Not there! To the mirror! Jump!”

And as if an invisible hand picked me up by my collar, which I don’t remember having on that day, I dropped myself into the mirror. I fell with all my weight into the standing silvery glass. The mirror shattered in small pieces as I landed hard on the floor hitting first the wall really hard.

Katherine reached me with an amazing and graceful spring. I never thought she can be so fast. Paolo, Pierre and the others hurried to help me up and asked me whether I was badly injured. But all I could say was: “You can see me! You can see me!” and happy tears were running down my face.

“Yes, honey, we can see you”, Katherine was stroking me gently with an amazingly warm glimmer in her eyes that made them shimmer like cloudless sky on a sunny day. She was taking carefully the splitters out of my skin with her free hand. From that moment I knew that I would never be able to envy this wonderful person again, but only admire and want to know her better.

Later, I was checked, my injures washed and bandaged by the hotel doctor. The hotel administration refused me to pay them for the broken mirror, after twenty people reported eagerly witnessing what happened. I don’t really think they believed us, but they also were in doubt that twenty people could go nuts in the same moment. And in order to burry this story as far as possible, they asked as to forget it as though it was possible to make it disappear together with the glass splitters that were sucked in by the vacuum cleaner.

I asked the hotel administration to wait with hanging another large mirror in my room until after I left.

And from this day I avoid man’s high mirrors, but I also know that against common belief, breaking a mirror can as well mean great luck.

The power and surprise of association

I wrote this when I worked on an exercise from the book “The five-minute writer” by Margret Geraghty ( The goal of this exercise was to make association between concrete and abstract nouns. I chose three concrete nouns: a cup of espresso, rain, and fire extinguisher. Well, the first and the last words came to my mind, because I was sitting in a café, drinking a cup of double espresso and my table was facing a corner with a fire extinguisher tucked into it. And rain sounded romantic to me in that moment. It was the first time in my life when I went to a café with a sole purpose to write creatively.

I chose the abstract names from those suggested by Margret. The ones I chose were: life, anger and happiness. These are three quite different words. So, here is what came out of this exercise. I was surprised what ways imagination took me and made a task appearing so strange and impossible at the beginning to become something so interesting, so much fun and actually quite meaningful and logical at the end. What is also interesting is that the definitions became shorter but more concise and better structured as I proceeded. Below, you will find these contemplations in a slightly edited shape but in the exact order as I wrote them.

* * *

Life is like a cup of espresso, very aromatic and drawing you like a magnet when you first sense it, then bitter when you make a sip, and when it is finished it leaves you with a wonderful aftertaste and longing for more. Life’s essence is as colorful and as enigmatic as espresso’s la crema. If you get a single one, then it varies from dark brown through beige-golden to foamy white. If you take a double, it reminds you of an old rain cloak with its dark brown-“worn” color, but the taste of it is so intense and gives you such a strong “kick” as only an eye-opening wisdom of an old monk can do.

Life is like rain, sparkles like diamonds in the sun light, waters and gives you strength for blooming, but it can end fast if you don’t savor every drop of it.

Life is like a fire extinguisher, it can save you if you know how to use it and is useless if not.

* * *

Anger is like a cup of espresso, bitter and can be like that for quite some time if you linger to bitterness. It is hot and gives you a kick at the beginning, but it tastes cold and dreadful if you wait too long. But it is always in a small cup and it can be finished fast, if you are up to it. And you can taste a wonderful flavor of realization after anger is gone.

Anger is like rain, it makes you dripping wet and freezing if you cling to it. But it makes you feel refreshed and relieved when it’s gone, and after you dried you clothes and hair and warmed yourself with a cup of hot water or tea.

Anger is like a fire extinguisher, red and can be deadly if applied as a weapon, but harmless if you just observe it, and it can be even lifesaving if you recognize the use of it.

* * *

Happiness is like a cup of espresso, indulges you with a thought that only you know the special taste of it.

Happiness is like rain on a hot summer day, refreshing, caressing, indulging and healing. You can feel it with your whole body if you don’t hide under a shelter of fear.

Happiness is like a fire extinguisher, it makes you forget danger because you know that a helping hand is near.


I think of my mother. I think often of her. We fight and make up in my thoughts as well as in real life. And in my thoughts she listens time to time to my lengthy arguments and teachings how to really enjoy life and even agrees with me sometimes. Not so in real life. And how could she possibly do this? After some more thinking I realize that you can’t really teach how to have fun and enjoy life. You have to have fun and enjoy yourself and then you will infect others. Having fun and laughter are the best kinds of disease ever. Some people are immune against them but not many. The best spreaders of the “having fun” disease are children. When you hear a child laughing then the least that happens to you is smile and this happens the quicker the harder the child’s laughter is.

When you grow older, you lose gradually the power to infect others with laughter. But this power emerges time to time, sometimes unbeknownst to you. And if you have been “unfortunate” to have a laugh cramp then magic happens. A good friend of mine has recently sent me a link with a video shot in a subway ( where a woman having a laugh cramp infected the whole wagon with laughter. The video is absolutely hilarious, infectious, inspiring and it led me all the way from a bemused smile to laughing to tears.

And now when I think if my mother I hope that I can regain my childish power to infect her with laughter and good mood more and  more often. And it’s actually quite easy. I just have to watch and learn from one of the best teachers in this, from my two and a half years old son.